Cameron Portrait of her Mentor George Frederic Watts
Cameron, Julia Margaret. G. F. Watts
Cameron, October 1865
Albumen print (15 x 18 1⁄4 in., arched top). Original mount, titled in pencil and then in ink “G. F. Watts.” Minor expert conservation. Very good, strong tones. Minor foxing to mount.
This splendid portrait is inscribed and signed on the mount by Cameron: “G.F. Watts From Life not enlarged Julia Margaret Cameron.”
George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), the renowned English Victorian painter, was one of Julia Margaret Cameron’s closest friends and art mentors. Watts painted Cameron’s portrait in the early 1850s, and Cameron reciprocated with a number of photographic portraits in the years that followed.
Watts lived for many years with the family of Cameron’s sister Sara at Little Holland House, where he was part of a long-lived artistic and literary salon. In the early 1870s Watts acquired a house at Freshwater, Isle of Wight, joining his friends Cameron and Tennyson there.
“How masterly … are her straightforward, truthful portraits, which are entirely free from false sentiment.” “It is they which have made her work immortal in the annals of photography” (Gernsheim).
Cox & Ford, Julia Margaret Cameron: The Complete Photographs 828.